The WWE could be in for some serious trouble amid allegations that trainer Bill DeMott engaged in a pattern of racist and sexually abusive behavior, and that the organization swept it under the rug.
Earlier this week, wrestler Austin Matelson was the first to go public with allegations against DeMott. Matelson, who worked under the name Jonas Devlin, said that Bill DeMott abused his power and made several inappropriate remarks about sexual preference and gender.
The allegations could spell real trouble for the WWE. Matelson had raised his concerns nearly two years ago, with a letter he wrote in 2013 to the WWE being posted to Reddit.
“I am composing this memo today because I have had a number of serious concerns about the actions and words of head coach Bill Demott during my employment as talent for WWE developmental,” Matelson wrote in the letter. “Many of these actions I have tried to ignore or hope that they would cease but because they have now put me in a dangerous situation not only for my career but for my personal health and safety I feel the need to speak out to someone of a higher authority.”
On Friday, DeMott announced on Twitter that he was stepping down, writing “I deny the recent allegations made about me, however, to avoid any embarrassment or damage to the WWE, I’ve decided to step down from my role effective immediately.”
But there could be more damage to come for the WWE. There have been previous allegations that sexual abuse was rampant and even accepted within the organization. Last year, Thea Vidale said that in her time in the WWE she was subject to near constant harassment from an unnamed person.
“I genuinely hated that place,” said Vidale, who was known as Shelton Benjamin’s Mom in the WWE. “While I was there I was sexually harassed everyday by a perverted middle aged man that didn’t understand what no meant.”
Vidale said that the harassment often crossed the line.
“It was disgusting, I’ll never forget the day he came into my changing area with his private parts hanging out of his pants. I made up my mind at that point I was done with that company.”
Though Vidale did not name the man who allegedly harassed her, the general description could have fit Bill DeMott.
This is not the first time the WWE has faced sexual harassment allegations. In the late 1990s, Brock Lesnar’s wife Rena Mero (better known as Sable) filed a sexual harassment case. But she eventually dropped the case, and worked again for the organization.
While the allegations against Bill DeMott have not been proven, if true, they could put the WWE in danger of a lawsuit. If it’s true that reports about DeMott’s behavior were swept under the rug, then the entire organization, including Vince McMahon, could be in the crosshairs as well.
[Image via MindofCarnage]